Brad was born on August 29, 1960 in Los Angeles, California, the oldest of three boys. He was brought up an average boy who grew to love speed, had no fears and enjoyed playing with toy cars. At the age of 10 he became involved with motor-cross. This was an exciting adventure. It possessed the love for speed and had the opportunity to put fear into its place. But this was not enough for the aggressive young motorcyclist. He needed something else in his life that would be more exciting. His dad and mom, Ace and Patti, were involved with auto racing. They owned their own midget race car which they campaigned for many years before adding a sprint car to their collection.

At age 16, now old enough to compete with an open wheel racing series in California, he began his auto racing career. He started out driving the family midget. His first year of running with the Ascot Super Midgets got him the "Rookie of the Year" award. The next year he joined the United States Racing Club (USRC) and also received the "Rookie of the Year" award with them. The following year, 1979, he again ran with the midgets on occasion, but also decided to try to campaign a sprint car. He drove the family sprint car his first year in competition with the California Racing Association (CRA) and again received the "Rookie of the Year" award with them. As the years passed by, he progressed even more.
By 1983 he was one of the drivers to watch out for. He set many fast times, won lots of races and broke 5 track records. Two of the track records were most memorable. Brad was the first one to break into the 16 second bracket at Baylands Raceway Park in Fremont, CA. But truly the most exciting night of his life was when he became the first one to break into the 18 second bracket at Ascot Park in Gardena, CA. The people in the stands and the pits both were just ecstatic. The crowd rose to their feet and applauded Brad for his accomplishment for a good 10 minutes before continuing on with the racing program. He was so over-joyed with this new goal that he had achieved.

These were exciting times, but also tough times in 1983. Brads' youngest brother, Todd, lost his life at Ascot Park during a main event at the young age of 19.

In the next 3 years, Brads' success continued to increase. He had accumulated 8 more track records, numerous fast times and a great deal more victories. He not only campaigned in a sprint car, but still showed up at a few midget events each year to compete when time permitted.

In 1986 & 1987 winning and setting track records in sprint cars became second nature. Brad and the Gardner Racing family team were in their element and unstoppable. At the age of 26, Brad had accomplished a major feat that all drivers dream of, he won a championship. He backed it up with another championship the very next year. These were wonderful times that you hope everyone can experience.

In 1988 the opportunity of a lifetime came. Mike Curb, sponsor of his Gardner Racing team, and Cary Agajanian, Mike's partner, offered him a 1 year contract to drive his Sunoco sponsored NASCAR Winston Cup car. It wasn't a hard decision to make, just a quick one. Brad moved his family to North Carolina. It was a huge learning process as the team was a "rookie" team all around. Rookie driver, rookie crew chief, rookie engine builder and rookie crew. Brad finished 3rd in Rookie points behind winner Ken Bouchard and 2nd place Ernie Irvan. In 1989 Sunoco pulled their sponsorship and went with a veteran team & driver causing our team to fold. Brad and family drove back across the United States and moved back home to California. He did what he knew best, drove sprint cars again full time. Brad has a tremendous need for achievement, dominance and aggression. His needs give him a desire to win races and become a champion. He has an inner ambition that drives him to be number one. Giving up is not an option.

In 1990 our home track, the famed Ascot Park, ran its last race. This was a very sad day in dirt track auto racing. He raced four more years driving sprint cars in and around California before making the journey back to North Carolina once again and taking another shot at NASCAR. So in 1993, Brad moved back for the first 6 months to get established. The rest of his family joined him in the summer when school was out. He established part time jobs with Fast Track Driving School and Nastrak Driving School (now known as Richard Petty Driving Experience). After a few months of establishing old contacts, a full time position with Darrell Waltrip at DARWAL became available working as a fabricator during the week and spotter for Darrell during the races, which he did for almost 3 years.

In 1994 a couple of opportunities came up to qualify and race NASCAR Winston Cup cars. Brad was honored and privileged to drive for the legendary Harry Hyde for 3 races in the #9 Melling Racing entry. In 1995, Felix Sabates approached Brad to be a crew chief and team manager for his new NASCAR Craftsman Truck team with Jay Sauter and Robby Gordon sharing the driving roles. The very next year, Felix promoted Brad to a NASCAR Winston Cup crew chief with Wally Dallenbach and Robby Gordon sharing the driving roles. This team was part of a 3 car team, however, it didn't achieve the success anticipated in its short time frame thus, folding.

In 1997 and 1998, Brad teamed back up with Mike Curb and Cary Agajanian as a team manager for their NASCAR Busch car driven by Stevie Reeves. During this period, Brad was given the opportunity to drive in 8 races. 1998 also saw Brad spotting for Wally Dallenbach in the #25 Hendrick NASCAR Winston Cup car as well as Kenny Wallace in selected Busch races. After many years of effort and now understanding how tough it is to get into NASCAR as a driver, Brad realized that his chances were over. He was too young in 1988 and this new era had teams/sponsors looking for drivers in their teens. He has been very fortunate to have raced with many veterans in NASCAR and wouldn't trade that experience for anything.

In 1999, Brad formed his own race team. He started a USAC Silver Crown team with Mike Curb Records as his sponsor. The team ran for 5 years before shutting it down due to lack of sufficient funds to keep it competitive. In 2000, Wally Dallenbach asked Brad to be his team manager on a new NASCAR Winston Cup team for Galaxy Motorsports. No sponsor was found and the team folded quickly.

In 2002, after working part time on and off for 9 years for the Richard Petty Driving Experience, Brad finally decided to go full time. With all his years as a professional driver, his role at the school was Driver Training which oversaw 100 plus drivers across the United States. He set up training programs for new hires as well as refresher courses for the current drivers employed.

In 2004, Brad got involved with the USAC Ford Focus Carolina series. He has helped many of the new upcoming drivers in the series, offered his knowledge to many team members and consulted with USAC on the new series. He has been an elected board member with USAC since 2000/2001. In 2005, Brad started a one-on-one training program to teach young kids to drive midgets. During this year Brad also found a new love. He raced in two ISMA Super Modified events. This was a new challenge for him that he has pursued for years.

Over the last several years, Brad has also managed to find time to pursue a new hobby. He has taken a lot of pride in restoring a 1950's vintage midget and 1982 championship sprint car for Ken Schrader. One of his passions - but time is always an issue. He was also privileged in Jan of 2006, to be a participant in the inaugural Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge event in Lake Placid. A great experience for him.

As of 2007, Brad was working full-time for the Richard Petty Driving Experience, competing in the USAC Ford Focus Carolina series as an owner and occasional driver. He was also competing in the USAC/CRA Sprint car series as a driver and competing in the ISMA Super Modified series as a driver and has successfully built his own midget race car with the help of Barry and Steven Graham for entries into the Copper World midget division in Phoenix, as well as, the Turkey Night event in California.
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